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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Career Guest Post; Working as a Portrait Photographer

Name: Caitlin Jade


Industry: Photography

Job Title: Portrait Photographer

Brief description of job role and industry

I photograph children from newborn (up to 5 days) and then babies, toddlers and children. I sometimes do families but not as much as others. I'm glad that I have my childcare qualifications that puts me a little higher up the pecking order when it comes to picking a photographer! 

An average day consists of... 

I usually get up at about 7AM and check all emails, phone calls and my facebook to check for any enquiries or any bookings that I may have. I'll do a little promotion on my page and facebook to generate some interest. I get most of my bookings through Facebook (social media is amazing ok!). If I have some photoshoots booked in I'll usually schedule one in for around 10am which will last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours (usually 4 hours if it's a newborn) and I'll set up everything I want for the shoot an hour before so I'll have my beanbag with all my props and backdrops ready for when they arrive. I'll talk them through what it is we will be doing, I like to give the parents as much input as they like and I love hearing their ideas and I love it when they bring their own props! After the shoot everything goes into the washer! Next shoot would be around 3pm and ill repeat the same process as before. Then begins the editing I edit all of the photos before putting them on a private gallery for them to choose from and I try to get that done as quickly as possible and I'll share the best photo on my facebook to promote. Once they have picked what they want I then get ordering the prints. Of course when they arrive I just have to be all cute and package them up in pretty boxes with gigantic massive bows!

Qualifications/experience required

In my sector of photography there isn't any formal qualifications you need, of course if you have a degree in photography that's brilliant! You don't need to go to university to be a photographer though. I think my Childcare qualifications help me out in my photography because it shows I know children well and parents feel more assured! You could do what I have done and do some photography courses and work shops I have done some for newborn posing, photography business courses and others just to top up some knowledge of mine!

Career progression

You really can take it anywhere you want to. I started off just photographing children and quickly developed on to taking photos of babies, newborns and families! I could take pictures of cows if I wanted to! Working for yourself as a photographer really gives you the advantage to branch out into whatever you want to do!

Best tip to crack the industry

You have to be tough! Before I even considered setting up a business I put my photos up for critique by professionals that had been doing it 10+ years and their comments can be harsh...VERY HARSH! It's a very competitive industry and you have to be a strong person and not back down, you have to do what you can to get where you need to be.

Best thing about my job

I love the creative side of it I get to set up entire photoshoots and style them myself I have the freedom of being my own boss and working the hours what I want to work (even though I get up at 7am and go to bed at 4am!). I love that I don't have to leave the house and meet people...I really don't find it all that lonely but I'm a huge introvert so that could just be me!

Worst thing about my job

Takes a lot of patience! It takes roughly 4 hours for a newborn shoot and in that time frame you probably spend about an hour and a half taking photos the rest your settling the newborn, they want milk, then they poo on the blankets and then they take time falling asleep you have to be very patient! You never know when your going to get a job coming in I'm always promoting and keeping on top of things but I still worry about having a stable flow of clients or else I don't get paid! Running your own business is hard, especially at 19. Although I'm running my own business I'm still yet to work out how to use our washing machine ha!!!


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